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Old 10-27-2009, 04:41 AM   #21
spencer
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Reckon I have =)

Though it's not purely philosophical knowledge, but also life experience that my powers my writing. Imagine a 2-circle Venn diagram, with one circle being "Knowledge" and the other circle being "Life experience/maturity". In the overlapping area, that is what I think is called wisdom--the synergy of being both knowledgeable and rich in experiences. Not that I have a lot of that yet, but optimally that overlapping area should be increasing in size as we age. =)
I'm much more cautious of using the word "wisdom".
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Old 10-27-2009, 04:43 AM   #22
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On the issue of trading passion for money, I have this to say: If you find a job that pays you what you want to earn for doing what you want to do--you've hit jackpot! But more often, there is a tradeoff.

Ultimately, it's your personal choice. You are well within your rights to choose how much of your passion to trade off in exchange for how much money--and no bystander is worthy to judge you for that decision (though of course many will, publicly or privately). Society does not owe you a living--so if you do not do something that "adds value" to another human being's life, there is no reason for him or society to pay you anything. If you can find a literature consulting firm to hire you, akin to the history consulting firm you mentioned, great. Otherwise you may have to be entrepreneurial and startup your own lit consulting firm--or else find some other way your knowledge of lit will be of service to your fellow man if no established path exists.

In the case of obscure passions (like aero engine), if the Singapore economy does not support your passion, you're well within your rights to leave and find some country/company that will pay you to do what you're passionate about. Of course, you'll have to weigh that against leaving family/friends/sentimentality behind before making that decision. But again: if your country doesn't "want" you (only in the sense that it can't employ or use you), then there is an unfortunate mismatch and something may need to be done (such as migration or you settling for some job that isn't in line with what you originally wanted).

Am I recommending a mercenary, "what's best for me" approach? Perhaps, but in a more enlightened, ethical way. I believe the individual should respect society, and society the individual. Therefore I simply advocate a reasoned, cost-vs-benefit way of thinking. Make your choice based on as much info as you can gather. Then walk down that path with equanimity, enjoying both the benefits and the pitfalls of your choice. For the majority of Singaporeans, blessed with an able body, sound mind and an opportunity to obtain higher education, there is always a choice.
Aeronautical engineering is not an obscure profession. As far as I know people fly planes more often than they visit the dentist. While dentist is 1-1 and planes are not, it shows that aeronautical engineering is not obscure.
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Old 10-28-2009, 12:38 AM   #23
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[Caution: English pedantry--sorry can't resist the linguistic debate...boy do I miss school]
True, my bad--I was (erroneously) imputing obscurity from the previous statement that "if you want to be aeronautical engineer, Singapore doesn't make planes or fighter jets." Of course, not being used as much doesn't mean obscure. What I meant was it's a very specialized field whose exact sciences are known only to the "initiated". The exact word I should have used is perhaps "esoteric" or perhaps even "arcane" though that last one tends to have fantastical connotations, no thanks to Harry Potter et al. I'm sure people know what Aero engine is just by its name, so obscure was probably the suboptimal word choice. [/English pedantry]


And on wisdom, personally my definition of "wisdom" is imputed from King Solomon, who was allegedly the wisest, or one of the wisest, men in history--more recent examples being folks like Gandhi et al. By studying these examples, it seems to me that wisdom is partly life experience (these men lived in very Interesting Times and experienced a lot of things beyond the normal experiential scope of a normal man). But wisdom also seems to include the ability to make simple the complex, cleaving Gordian knots with apparent ease: King Solomon's seemingly-foolish pronouncement successfully solved a dispute between two women; Gandhi's extremely simple--almost childlike--philosophy proved surprisingly effacious in (helping to) end colonialism in India. So some kind of intelligence or mental acuity certainly seems essential to what men commonly call "wisdom". Still, I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on what constitutes this (admittedly nebulous) concept. What else should wisdom encompass?

Back to English, the actual topic at hand, I'll say one more thing for English that employers may or may not yet appreciate. I believe certain fields of study require and even cultivate some level of maturity and/or wisdom, which is useful in jobs that require poise and/or heavy client interaction. English (and many other Humanities fields) is one such field that either promotes or requires a certain level of maturity to do well in. As evidence, I offer this: It's possible (and, with the rise in homeschooling, increasingly common) to have math or science prodigies--witness the occasional headline when some 13-year-old teen gets into MIT for math or engineering. I haven't to date heard of English or Philosophy or Anthropology prodigies, so I am forced to assume they're far rarer--you don't hear of 13-year-olds getting into Harvard or Yale for Philosophy quite as often! To me this suggests that it's easier to accelerate the learning of technical knowledge--spatial, mathematical and inductive reasoning--as opposed to more ambiguous and often-subjective types of "knowledge".

To me this makes sense: the rules of Maths and Sciences--as they are taught in school up til the undergrad level--are self-contained and finite, and their memorization and subsequent manipulation can be taught and rapidly inculcated into a young mind if the parent is eager to do so. In contrast, the rules of philosophy and other humanities--if there are any rules at all--are ill-defined and cannot be easily verbalized--mainly because the humanities are tied to humanity, and humans have complex rules that do not exist in a self-contained vacuum*. If you teach a 9-year old linear algebra and complex matrices, and at the end of the day he can solve both types of problems with ease, he "gets it". If you teach a 9-year-old Hamlet, he can memorize it and even quote relevant passages from it when given a suitable thematic prompt (think O-level Lit exams)--but unless he's had an abnormally intense and interesting life, he may not grasp the full implications of what Shakespeare is trying to say--about divine providence, about truth & seeming, about madness & reason.

This is not to knock the technical fields. I just wanted to point out this one fundamental difference between the technical and the un-technical disciplines.

*I think this is why it is so hard to explain social phenomena to young children. If you want to explain one social phenomenon to them, you quickly find you'll have to explain ALL of society to them, because it's all connected. Maybe this is why parents occasionally get exasperated by their children's "why" questions--not only because it can get annoying, but also because it's nigh-impossible to answer the question in any brief way that will fit into the child's limited attention span.
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Old 01-15-2013, 07:15 PM   #24
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I have also been working for one of my client in past couple of months, and they liked my work and appreciated me. That helped me a lot, and now i am at a proper post of content writer in another company. You should try to search for jobs for content writer. It's really a great skill.
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Old 07-19-2015, 12:28 PM   #25
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